Dairy speaker at Wisteria talk

By Geoff Adams

The role of dairy in the region will be discussed at the next Beneath the Wisteria conversation in Shepparton on Saturday, February 29.

The event is an informal discussion with an emphasis on the environment and issues for the region.

Lachlan Barnes from Murray Dairy will speak at the 11 am event in the Maude St Mall.

Dairy farmers have been invited to join the conversation, which will cover the impact dairy has on the region, its role in the national industry and the challenges with water and profitability in a higher cost environment.

Mr Barnes was educated in Shepparton and at University of Melbourne's Dookie Campus and now works for the regional dairy development body, Murray Dairy.

He said in 2016, this region produced $930 million worth of milk or 28 per cent of Australia’s milk, but since then production has dropped off with poor seasons and higher input costs squeezing out some farmers.

“Is there enough water and will climate continue to be suitable?,” Mr Barnes said.

“This depends on season, local competition, allocation rules, farm adaptions and policy.

“With current allocation and market rules there are seasons when this means there isn’t enough water.

“The question remains, how often can dairy farms handle these years and how often they will occur?”